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4K TV shipments jump by 500%

Sony's 4K TV and Video Unlimited 4K service.

Sony’s 4K TV and Video Unlimited 4K service.

Shipments of 4K TVs increased by more than 500% year-on-year in the third quarter to top 3 million units, according to IHS’s DisplaySearch.

The Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast report said that 4K TV shipments have “significantly accelerated” this year, due to more competition and more accessible pricing.

Some 6.4 million 4K TVs have been shipped in total this year, according to DisplaySearch, with China accounting for 60% of global 4K TV shipments in Q3.

“China is the leading 4K TV consumer market, and local Chinese brands are now fiercely competing with Samsung, which is aggressively pushing for growth in China,” said DisplaySearch.

Samsung accounted for 36% of global 4K TV shipment revenues in Q3, giving it the lead in this market ahead of LGE, Hisense and Sony, which took 15%, 10% and 9% of 4K revenues respectively.

“Chinese brands have a stronger share thanks to greater volume within China, and a low average price compared to global brands competing in markets outside of China. However, with the arrival of greater competition in North America and other markets, as well as rising 4K TV exports from Chinese brands, competitive price compression will be difficult to avoid for most brands,” said DisplaySearch.

The research found that total TV shipments improved 4% year-on-year in Q3 and LCD TV shipments alone rose nearly 9%.

“While the last several years in the TV business have been difficult in terms of overall shipments and revenue, the market is showing some broad resiliency now, with most regions enjoying growth in the third quarter,” said Paul Gagnon, director of global TV research at DisplaySearch. “Consumption for primary TVs is entering a renewed replacement cycle in some key regions, while adoption of larger screens and 4K and other higher resolutions will keep consumers upgrading.”

“With a scarcity of content and streaming options, much of the early success for 4K will rely on education campaigns from brands and price compression that will make it more affordable.”